Meat & Livestock Australia Limited (MLA) delivers marketing and research and development services for Australia’s cattle, sheep and goat producers.
Funding comes from transaction levies paid on livestock sales, the Australian government and voluntary contributions from industry partners. MLA is a service provider to the red meat industry, not an industry representative body or lobby group.
2024 Nuffield Scholar
Something to ruminate on: maximising returns through maternal efficiency
As Australia's red meat industry progresses towards its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030, Jack Courts will use a Nuffield Scholarship to study maternal efficiency in ruminant animals.
Jack, owner of Glenalbyn Santa Gertrudis stud and farm manager at Mumblebone Merino Stud says maximising the ratio of kilograms of weaned animals to kilograms of animals joined has the effect of reducing waste, aligning with the industry's 2030 target. With a focus on differing ruminant production systems, he will study the amount of greenhouse gases produced per kilogram of animal weaned, in addition to ways to optimise breeding programs.
"Genetics is important in this area, as a more feed efficient animal produces less methane and carbon dioxide on high energy diets. With animal welfare an ever-present priority for the industry, converting foetuses to weaned lambs is a topical issue. Achieving success requires detailed analysis of efficiencies and implementation of the most effective systems."
Jack's scholarship is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia.
Jack plans to travel to the UK, Spain, Italy, New Zealand and Australia's southern states to look at best management practices, genetic gain, animal health, nutrition and production in climates different to those around Wellington, NSW, where the studs operate.
"I'm looking forward to pulling together knowledge on foetus conversion, weaning management and adoption of modern technologies and genetic improvement in the one report," Jack says.
Jack has a strong history working in agriculture, having grown up on his family farm in North-West NSW, then working in the northern beef industry upon completing school. Valuing a further education, Jack studied at Marcus Oldham College.
With an insight into differing stud production systems, he now works on one of Australia’s leading Merino Studs.
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